Sunday, February 28, 2021

If You're Brave Enough to Say Goodbye... will reward you with a new hello.

Queen B and the Rodeo Princess have officially flown the nest. Currently, they are on day two of their three-day journey and I feel like I am holding my breath as I await updates on their progress. I hope I don't pass out.

Friday night, a few of us gathered for dinner as the second-to-last stop on the girl's Farewell Tour (we should have made t-shirts). Then, bright and early Saturday morning, they were off.

Their first overnight was in Mayberry, where they made their final final farewells to their grandmother and my great-niece. I'm glad their route included that stop because I know how much Mom is going to miss them and how quickly the baby will grow and change in their absence.

They should arrive at their final destination tomorrow afternoon (they are over-nighting tonight with friends of the Rodeo Queen, who live about four hours from their new home), and, I'm sure they will be more than ready to land. I also know that they will get settled in and will be making new friends in no time. I am so proud of their bravery.

As for me; I spent the day with Jules, who came down from Neighboring City to take my mind off my now completely empty nest (so dramatic!). We indulged in a little alcohol therapy and reminisced about the times that we have said goodbye to each other. The bottom line is; goodbye is seldom goodbye forever. It's more of a "see you later".

So, cheers to your new adventures, girls! And, we'll see you later.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

What's Up Wednesday, February 2021 Edition


Y'all, I blinked and missed half of February. I mean, I must have, right? That is the only possible explanation for how it went by so fast. I'm not complaining, of course; we all know my long and storied issues with February, the longest shortest month of the year. This year, however, it just sped by and, now, we have reached the end of the month, so, it's time to link up with Sheaffer and Shay for another scintillating edition of What's Up Wednesday.

What I'm Eating

I gave up sugar for Lent this year; I'm a week in and, so far, so good. I've also been cooking more, including a stab at the magic tomato/feta recipe that was all the rage on TikTok recently. It was good! Really, really good.

I also made a huge pot of minestrone, which was the perfect meal for the colder, snowy days that we have been having.

Lunches at work have included a buffalo chicken panini from a local butcher shop (the meat processing takes place behind a wall of glass behind the sandwich counter. Sounds gross, I know, but, It's actually really cool!). It was ridiculously yummy and I like knowing that I am both supporting a local business and eating locally sourced meat.

Kristi, Erin, and I went out for lunch recently, which is one of the few times that I have been in a restaurant this year. Actually, it was probably the first time for 2021, now that I think about it. I had a grilled chicken salad because I am trying to eat better all the way around.

 This healthier eating includes oatmeal for breakfast and portion-controlled (aka: Diet) frozen meals for lunch.

What I'm Reminiscing About

Yesterday was Queen B's 25th birthday and I have found myself reminiscing about her birth, childhood, and adolescence. It's been such a privilege to be her Mom, but I can't believe how quickly the time has gone. Hug 'em tight, Mommas! They grow up way too fast.

What I'm Loving

I purchased vinyl decals for my KitchenAid mixer a while back and I finally got around to applying them. I'm really happy with the end result.

What I've Been Up To

Mikey and one of Queen B's best friends requested my participation in throwing a surprise going away party for Queen B and the Rodeo Princess and I was all in! I had my doubts that we would be able to pull it off (those girls are not easily surprised), but, we did it! The girls have now been properly feted before their journey, three days from now (I'm not crying, I'm not crying, I'm not crying).

What I'm Working On

In light of the fact that my motivating word(s) for the year is self-care; I have finally started working on myself again. I've been going to the gym; building back up to running. I've also been doing yoga and trying to carve out time to do nice things for myself. I'm a work in progress, to be sure, but, am hopeful that I will be able to lose some of the weight that Covid gifted me, as well as reducing the amount of joint pain that I have been experiencing.

What I'm Dreading

For the first time in a long time, I can't really think of anything that I am actively dreading. I think my brain has hit full capacity for angst and all of the circuits wired for fretting have been fried. I'm not sure this is a good thing.

What I'm Excited About

I am excited about the prospect of visiting Queen B in Texas, and, not just because it will be the first vacation that I have had in almost two years. 

What I'm Watching

I binged Firefly Lane on Netflix and it was ok, but, I'm not going to lie; I enjoyed the books the series was based on more. Kristin Hannah is a hell of a writer and I don't think any film adaptation of her work would do it justice, so I'm not surprised.

I am a fan of true crime documentaries, so; when one of my co-workers suggested this limited series on Netflix, I was all over it.

I remembered the case and was curious as to how the mystery was solved; needless to say, it is a tragic but interesting story. Also, the Cecil Hotel is creepy AF.

I'm also re-watching The Vampire Diaries, because, why not?

What I'm Reading

I am still making my way through the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn. Normally, it wouldn't take me so long to get through a series, but, my "free time" has been taken up with bookkeeping duties at the hardware store. Now that I have The Year That Shall Not Be Named on QuickBooks, I am hoping for some more time to myself and I hope to make reading a priority.

What I'm Listening To

I'm back to listening to the running playlist on my iPod while at the gym and it occurs to me that I need some new material. Any suggestions for music I can run to? Preferably in the 120-180 beats per minute range, please and thank you.

What I'm Wearing

It's been a while since I could say this, but; I'm wearing workout clothes. Hallelujah! Do any of them fit? Oh, hell, no. Am I going to invest good money into clothing that I am hoping to rapidly shrink out of? Again, hell, no. So, will I endure the pinching, squeezing, suffocating tightness of my current leggings, tanks, and sports bras until such time as I lose enough weight for them to be comfortable? Yes. Yes, I will.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

As I said earlier, I'm saying goodbye to Queen B and the Rodeo Princess. The first leg of their journey to Texas happens Saturday morning and I am emotionally preparing myself to let them go. I know they will be fine; they're going to find adventure and experience so many new things, and I am excited on their behalf. But, I'll miss them both. A whole hell of a lot.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

I am looking forward to the official start of spring, and, while springtime in Colorado is always dicey, weather-wise; I'm anticipating the longer days, sunshine, and an opportunity to take my walks outside again.

Plus, I've always enjoyed Easter, and, despite the fact that we will be Zooming or FaceTiming with all of the kids this year; I'm looking forward to the day.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Twenty Plus Five Equals One Old Momma

But this isn't about me; this is about the fact that my first-born just turned a quarter of a century old, which, of course, means that I am, indeed, old, but, that is neither here nor there.


So, yes; twenty-five years ago, I gave birth to Queen B, who, has become the most amazing, loving, kind, quick-tempered, feisty, sarcastic, woman I know. She's strong, smart, genuine, and full of life, and, our lives would be so bleak without her.

This weekend, she will fly farther from the nest than she has ever roosted, and, while I have my motherly concerns; I am extremely excited for her and for what the future holds. And, while I know that I say this every year; I simply cannot believe how fast time has flown.

Make every minute count, folks! And, happy birthday, baby girl!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Party On Wayne, Party On Garth

Last night, we surprised Queen B and the Rodeo Princess with a going away party. It was a joint effort between myself, Mikey, and Mia, who is one of the girls' good friends, and, the fact that we pulled it off was an incredible feat, to be sure. Both girls have elevated spidey-senses for when they are being kept in the dark and we were convinced, at every turn, that they had found us out. Happily, that was not the case!

The cover story for the party was a simple game night; something that this group of friends gets together for often. We organized the event using Facebook, and, were pleased with the number of folks who turned out, including one of the girls' friends from Mayberry, who made the drive up and rented a hotel room just to be part of the event.

Sadly, Hugh was out of town on a wrestling assignment that he had accepted well before we knew the girls would be moving, so he was unable to join us. The Man-Cub, however, despite being thousands of miles away, joined by FaceTime. He was also represented by his girlfriend, who has become a friend of the girls as well. In fact, she's become a regular part of the family, and, was the one who drove to the party with me.

Since Queen B's birthday is this coming Wednesday, Mia and Mikey made sure to have cupcakes with candles for her to blow out after we sang the birthday song.

This little group of friends will miss the girls, but, I have a feeling they will all stay in touch and that they will have many future opportunities to gather in celebration of the events that life provides. I'm just happy that I got a chance to celebrate with them all last night, and, while I'm going to miss my girls; I'm comforted by the amount of love that they will be taking with them when they go.

They leave this coming Saturday. Have I mentioned that? A couple hundred times, perhaps? 

Look out, Texas!  

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

 Petticoat Junction, Hooterville, and Pixler all got hit with a mild snowstorm Monday night, which isn't unusual for Colorado, unlike the mess that Mother Nature is visiting upon Texas and other parts of the South right now (prayers to everyone affected).

When I went in to work, I expected to have to do some shoveling, salting, and other snow removal duties. What I didn't expect was that  I would be assaulted by the view from my office window, which, overlooks the roof of the porch on the main level of the building.

Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor, for sure; especially given what I do for a living. So, of course we couldn't let a phallic symbol hang out on the roof indefinitely, which, is why one of my staff members crawled out my window, onto the roof, to remove the offending object.

But, what does one do with a pornographic ice sculpture? I haven't decided yet. In the meanwhile, it's chillin' in the freezer. 

Because, of course it is.

There's not enough therapy in the world, folks. Not nearly enough.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Weekend Wrap-Up, Self Care Edition

 I am on day four of my four-day weekend, and, God willing, will make it through the whole day without a call-out (yes, I do realize that I have probably just jinxed myself, damnit).

I spent the majority of my time in the pursuit of self-care, with mixed results. But, while some of my efforts were less successful than others, it certainly beat working. So, what did I do? Let's break it down.

Friday morning, I slept in a bit before going in to the hardware store (a day off is never really a day off, unfortunately). Once I was finished there, I started the self-care portion of the program officially by taking myself shopping at the Marshalls in Hooterville. I did my best to enjoy the experience, but, if I'm being honest, the anxiety that wearing a mask causes me sucks the joy out of treasure hunting. So, I wrapped it up quickly, hit the Hellmouth to stock up on the groceries that will fuel my new healthy diet, and headed home to clean house (again, a day off is seldom an actual day off).

Later in the evening, I met Erin at the gym for a leisurely stroll on the treadmill before returning home for a series of beauty treatments, including a hair treatment that left my hair silky smooth and soft. Highly recommended.

Saturday morning, I again met Erin at the gym for a virtual yoga class. The instructor was not to our liking, so, we logged off and dialed up a YouTube class, which we ended up enjoying, immensely. The whole ordeal was a great ah-ha for me; my hips are so tight, they are driving a lot of the aches and pains that I have been experiencing. It's definitely time to address that situation.

Later in the day, I pulled out my spring decorations and got busy decorating for Easter. Was I jumping the gun a bit? Yes. Is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of lent on Wednesday? Also, yes. Does Lent signal the imminent arrival of spring? Absolutely. So, am I quite content with my decision to rush the season? Without question (especially since we woke up to numerous inches of snow on Sunday. Bleh).

Hugh was out of town at a wrestling tournament and wasn't scheduled to get home until late, so I lit my smelliest candles, poured a glass of wine, and binge watched The Vampire Diaries until bedtime. It was divine.

Sunday, we awoke to that above-mentioned snow, which, again, bleh.

But, it was Valentine's Day, so we also spoiled each other; I gifted Hugh with honey whiskey and Cliff Bars (the male equivalent of candy and flowers) and Hugh presented me with a certificate for a 90 minute massage. It was a nice surprise.

I lazed around for a bit before heading to the hardware store to run payroll and file sales tax before hitting the gym for a 45 minute wog on the treadmill (half walk, half jog; I'm building back up to running, saints preserve me), after which I did a half hour of deep, intentional stretching. I felt better almost immediately.

Later in the evening, I poured another glass of wine and tried to relax in a warm bath with epsom salts. It didn't exactly work out; something about the salts or the fragrance in them caused some significant breathing issues for me. My chest tightened up and I felt like I was suffocating. It took several hours outside of the tub before I felt normal again. Luckily, Hugh's recent EMT training was put to good use; he took my vitals and assured me that I probably wouldn't die. That was comforting.

Anyhoodle, today's plan for self-care (preferably the type that doesn't kill me) is another trip to the gym, some more stretching, a manicure and a home facial. I'm also going to do some cooking with those healthy groceries that I purchased, and, with any luck, will relax with my Kindle.

You know, assuming I don't get called out. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Seen on Saturday

One of my goals for myself this year was to write more often in this space. Another goal was to do more photography for enjoyment. I'm knocking both of those goals out with a new series that I hope to keep going here: Seen on Saturday. 

Not every picture I post will have been taken on Saturday, but, let's just go with it, shall we?

I'm starting with these photos that I took last Saturday, while on my way to pick up Queen B for the baby shower that we attended.

These are cranes, and, their migratory pattern includes a long layover in my hometown of Mayberry. In fact, Mayberry hosts an annual Crane Festival in their honor. 

I was surprised the first time I saw them resting on a pond just outside of Pixler, several years ago, and; have made it a point to take a trip down the back road where the pond is located each year around this time. Sometimes, I miss their visit; this year, my timing was right.

They are massive in size and, to be honest, slightly awkward. They remind me of home and I'm glad I got to see them.